From toast of town to toxic: Facebook CEO on outs with Dems

In this Oct. 23, 2019 photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives for a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. Zuckerberg’s social network in Washington is shrinking. Bipartisan hostility against Facebook has been building for months, fueled by a series of privacy scandals, the site’s use by Russian operatives in the 2016 presidential campaign and accusations that Facebook crushes competitors. Now, with the 2020 elections approaching, Democrats especially are homing in on the conduct of the social media giant and its refusal to fact-check political ads and remove false ones. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON — Mark Zuckerberg's social network in Washington is shrinking.

Bipartisan hostility toward Facebook has been building for months. It's been fueled by a series of privacy scandals, Facebook's use by Russian operatives in the 2016 presidential campaign and accusations that the service crushes competitors.

Now, with the 2020 elections approaching, Democrats especially are homing in on Facebook's conduct and its refusal to fact-check political ads and remove the false ones.

Zuckerberg's new strategy involves a personal blitz featuring private meetings in Washington with key lawmakers of both parties and President Donald Trump; small, off-the-record dinners at his California home with conservative journalists and opinion makers; and the occasional keystone public address or TV interview.

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